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-   -   Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painful! (https://her2support.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=64285)

Katsie 12-16-2015 10:34 AM

Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painful!
I opted for a bilateral mastectomy 7 years ago. When I was 42, I found a lump in the left. breast. It was diagnosed as medulary (sp). Non-spreading, encapsulated. I had a lupectomy, radiation, and tamoxifin. My oncologist said that the reoccurance was very low. Sorry about my spelling (fibro). Anyway, 16 years later, I found another lump in the upper right breast. The same oncologist diagnosed it as a garden variety type of breast cancer. He said it was my choice on what to do. I opted for the bilateral mastectomy. I had no real problems after the surgery, but the scar left a lot of scar tissue which pulls horribly. I told my oncologist it feels like a tight rubber band. About four months ago, while lifting my granddaughter who is 3 yrs. old, I must have pulled my chest muscle. Right after this, I felt the need to pull my right arm backwards, while sleeping. At any rate, I must have damaged the exact place where the surgery was performed, because after pulling this muscle in my sleep for about a month, the right side of my chest is now indented deeply. Much more so than that done by the surgery. Also, under my arm is indented badly. It looks so different than what it did, after the surgery. I went to my G.P. and she sent me to therapy. I've been in therapy for months, but nothing feels better, or looks better. The pain is awful, and it's under the scar, on my right side, where my bra hits. Even if I don't wear the bra, it hurts. It's a stabbing, burning feeling. Therapy, massage, just turned me black and blue. I can't exercise like I used to...walking, because even with a 10's unit, it radiates down my right arm, then my back starts to hurt, and the arm tingles and goes numb. I'm seeing my G.P. today, and ask her to do an MRI to determine what's going on in there. I have not seen any posts like mine, anywhere on the internet, with the exception of weight lifters who suffer this type of damage. If my surgeon had told me what he actually cut when he performed the surgery, I would have been more careful. Lesson learned. Just because you're referred to a surgeon, with no bedside manner, like me, ask a ton of questions. Ask your family members to help you make a written list of things you want to know, and push the surgeon to explain, and don't take silence for an answer. I think my surgeon must have cut the muscles in my chest, but at the time, I was so upset over it all, that I barely asked anything, and he did not volunteer a thing!

Laurel 12-16-2015 04:44 PM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf

I have not heard of a situation such as yours, but will appreciate hearing about the MRI results. Many of us have had mastectomies so your case may enlighten us to avoid certain activities. I hope relief will soon be forthcoming! It sounds so uncomfortable. Surgeons do cut the pectoral muscle with some reconstructive surgeries especially where a saline implant is slipped beneath the muscle. It does not sound as though you had reconstruction with implants from your post. Prayers for your healing and comfort!

IrvineFriend 12-18-2015 11:44 PM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf
Please keep us updated as it may not be unique to you. I had implants and honestly, it's taken a couple years to feel comfortable with them. It's not minor surgery. Have you thought about going back to your surgeon? Mine has been really involved even a couple years post-surgery. Best of luck and good medical care.

Katsie 02-13-2016 06:52 PM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf
Here's a part of the follow-up that I promised. The "injury" happened in June, 2015. My chest (pectoral) right region is indented about an inch. I have pain (stabbing and burning) in the pec region as well as under my right arm, which is also indented. Finally, about two weeks ago, the results of my MRI were given to me. My G.P. told me that there was a mass there. I asked her to fax the information to my oncologist. The oncologist got the MRI results on Monday, and called me this past Monday to come in on Tuesday.

He's been my oncologist since my first breast cancer when I was 42, which was medulary (sp). It was encapsulated, and in the left breast. I had radiation, lumpectomy and hormone treatment for three years. I was told it would not return. Sixteen years later, I got a different type in the right breast. I could see the lump. It sat at the top of my right breast and was the size of a walnut. I was informed that it was a "garden variety" type of breast cancer, and when I asked if I should opt for the bilateral mastectomy, my oncologist told me that it was my call, so I did. I had chemo, the bilateral mastectomy, and hormone treatment.

Eight years later, the "garden variety" has come back on the right side. Now, I don't have any fat in my chest area, and this does look like a very bad muscle pull. It looks like the muscle rolled up, as happens with weight lifters. The only difference is that I am indented. It looks like I was in an accident.

My oncologist took one look at me and said the cancer had returned. He was surprised that my G.P. had not referred me back to him, especially with my extensive history. He scheduled a blood test for last Thursday, and a PET scan which I had yesterday (Friday). I have a biopsy scheduled for Monday.

I am somewhat surprised, and in shock that it came back. I had a enlar, the bilateral mastectomy, etc. I have no adipose tissue in my chest area. The area is right where the lump was in the second incursion. It's hard as a rock and it does feel like a muscle that has hardened. It has not gotten bigger, but it's warm. The burning under my arm is horrible, so my oncologist gave me a pain pill for it.

I asked my oncologist if he had ever seen this before, and he said yes. He is a chair on the Hilman in Pittsburgh, and extremely qualified.

I'm scared that it went too long. My G.P. sent me to therapy when she saw it in June, and never said to see my oncologist. I pray it did not spread.

The lymph nodes are enlarged, but in the other two breast cancers, none of the samples of the lymph nodes were involved.

I'm asking for prayers. I live with chronic mylegenous leukemia, which my pain doctor said came from being subjected to x-rays too much, especially when I was a child. I'm a chronic asthmatic who grew up in a dirty mill town.

I also tested positive for the Brac 1 gene mutation. My children did not, thankfully. I should mention that nobody in my family had breast cancer or died of it. I feel like a freak. I know that it can happen to anybody, but these health problems have thrown me for an emotional loop. The other two breast cancers did not hurt, at all.

If you will, please pray for me. I'm scared and I honestly thought I would never have to deal with this again I'll try to keep you posted.

Katsie 02-13-2016 06:58 PM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf
You're correct. I did not have reconstruction. I also have Sjogren's Syndrome, which is an extreme drying out of bodily tissues, i.e. eyes, gums, skin. My surgeon did not want to take the chance of infections with this skin problem. I was also diagnosed with fibro, and Sjogren's in 2000. In 2002, I was diagnosed with CML. It's supposedly an elderly person's cancer, usually appearing in their 80's. I'm 63, and was diagnosed with it in my 50's. Two people, in my county, have it, and I'm one of them. Sometimes, things just get too be too much.

MaineRottweilers 02-14-2016 05:55 AM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf
Katsie, I am praying for you. I can only imagine the fear and uncertainty you are feeling right now. Thankfully, you have a qualified oncologist who will get you properly diagnosed and give you a treatment plan. It's the waiting that is most difficult. I found it easier to focus once I had a firm plan in place. Again, my prayers for you.

thinkpositive 02-14-2016 01:53 PM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf
I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with so many health issues. I will certainly keep you in my thoughts and prayers. As Tracy said, the waiting is the toughest. Hang in there.

Take care,

Dakini52 02-16-2016 07:58 PM

Re: Bilateral Mastectomy 7 yrs. ago..pulled pectoral muscle..indented badly and painf
I had a similar thing happen to me and when they x-rayed my chest it showed that I had a fractured/separated rib. It was very painful for some time, however, I have no pain now. The rib is still fractured and due to all the radiation I had to that area, it will likely never heal properly. I just have to be a little careful about lifting and moving things but other than that it is manageable. Has that area of your body been x-rayed? Might be something to consider.

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